Thursday 17 November 2011

Christmas Postage Dates

Well it's that time again. I've already started panicking about Christmas approaching way too quickly. Since having the kids, gone are the days when a last minute dash on Christmas Eve cuts it (or is even logistically possible). So I thought it was also about time I let you all know about postage dates.

Just think how good it'll be to get those Christmas gifts done and dusted? And how gorgeously smug you will feel.

If you're in the UK you need to get your order in by 19th December. If it's a custom order, such as fingerprint jewellery you will ideally need to get your order in by 28th November - eek that's next Monday!! Remember I post out first class recorded for most packages, and Special Delivery for custom goodies, or those costing above £30.

For my lovely customers in the US your order needs to be with me by 8th December. And if you're buying from right on the other side of the world in Australia, you'll need to order by 4th December.

After the chaos caused by the snow and certain customs centres (you know who you are NY!) to deliveries last year my advice is get it ordered early!!

Good luck - and happy shopping!

Tuesday 8 November 2011

Bonfire Night 2011

One of the best bits about living in a little village is the way the community get together to celebrate events throughout the year. In our village we have a FANTASTIC summer party, but the other key event is always Bonfire night.

The pole goes up on the green at the end of September - and for the next 6 weeks hedge trimmings and branches are put out and collected by the bonfire boys and girls. Take a peek at the video below....

And then the big night arrives. A procession with torches around the village, with a band, and the Guy out front. The cold dark night filled with excitement, and smoke. My littlies weren't that keen on going down this year for the big event - it's after bedtime after all, and this year both were just a little nervous about the fire (Littlest was also a bit worried about Guy Fawkes! - he was a pretty scary one to be fair, and over 7 foot tall!)

So a snap decision was made after we watched the torchlight procession, that maybe we'd stay home. We had family over, so had lots of fun playing games until the firework display started... then we ran into the front garden, and wow what a display.

What a show, and what a view from our garden. Brilliant.

It seems really strange that bonfire night is just a British affair. I guess no-one else would be that interested in celebrating Guy Fawkes failure to blow up parliament, but I always assume that this sort of festival would happen everywhere at this time of year, just with a different name, to bring a little light in the darkness, and to get rid of all those hedge and tree cuttings!

Hope you all had a great weekend whatever you were up to!

Becky x

Tuesday 1 November 2011

Featured Etsy Seller - Julie Marie Shop

Tell us a bit about yourself - (where do you live, what's your name etc..)
I am Julie Marie Burns and I currently live in Asheville, NC. I say currently because I am originally from Madison, WI. My husband, Dave and two kids Lily age 5 and Smith age 3 recently moved to Asheville. We aren’t quite sure if there is where we are going to stay, but for now it works ok. I also recently started my own online business Julie Marie Shop on etsy.

What do you make?

I make purses and bags, scarves, and pillows. I also make curtains, girls skirts and dresses, stuffed animals, and pretty much any crafty little thing. I love working with felt at christmas time to make stockings and ornaments. I am also into scrapbooking and papercrafts, but my real passion is sewing.

Why do you use that medium?
I love fabric. I love everything about it. The feel, how it drapes, and the lovely patterns. It truly is an obsession.

When/ how did you start crafting?
I have always been a crafty person. It all began with drawing and painting all through school, then once I graduated from college I started working at a fabric store and the passion began. I got my first sewing machine and the creativity started flowing. Then I had kids and I started sewing even more and got more heavily into papercrafts.

When did you start selling your stuff - where do you sell?
I started selling my stuff about three years ago at a local art gallery in Wausau, WI. I started selling baby shoes and bibs. Then once I moved to madison I started to learn about etsy, but I didn't actually start selling on etsy until August of this year (2011)

Do you also have a day job, or is this your main job?
My day job is a stay at home mom and selling on etsy. 

What do you love about your medium, what do you hate?
I love figuring out new layouts for my purses and experimenting with the drape and stretch of different fabrics, which is also one of the hardest parts of working with fabric. It is kind of a pain working with silky and stretchy material and also trying to get everything perfectly symetrical. I am a bit of a perfectionist so sometimes it can drive me mad when everything is not exactly straight.

Where do you get your inspiration from?
My biggest inspiration is other designers and crafters. Especially Amy Butler. She is a true inspiration and talent. But I also love all the crafters on etsy. They each inspire me in their own unique way.

What is your favourite music to craft to?
Jack Johnson, O.A.R, Death Cab for Cutie, and Feist

What is your favourite piece of your own?
The denim ruffle purse or asian inspired purse. Both allowed me to showcase the beauty of their fabrics. I hope others feel the same.

Where do you do your crafting?
My bedroom. I get a corner of the room for all my fabric, sewing machine, and cutting table/ironing board. This is not my ideal craft room, but I have to work with what I have. Luckily my husband is completely understanding and doesn’t mind the occassional mess.

You have a lovely store Julie - good luck with it all!


I hope you all had a great halloween. We didn't go trick or treating this year, as it was the first day back at school and a certain 4 year old was exhausted. We did apple bobbing, and I got the face paints out. And the girls and R had a go at carving a pumpkin at the weekend ...I was quite impressed - better than last years anyway!

Impressed that is until I saw this beauty! Rex from Toy Story and some of the little aliens. Apparently there were 5 of the aliens in the morning, but the lady who made them reversed out of her drive, forgetting that they were there....oops.

I now have a severe case of pumpkin envy. I think next year maybe I should have a go. However, whilst the others were busy I did get some time to make some lovely silver lily earrings like these, for a custom order.

Friday 21 October 2011

Folksy Friday - Mmmmmmmmm Chocolate

I'm going through a chocolate craving whilst writing this....can you tell? Hopefully with these goodies I won't end up the size of a house.....

...ooooh and as usual, click on the pics to go through to the shop. Enjoy!



Wednesday 19 October 2011

Wednesday Moodboard

A little blog moodboard based on my light and dark earrings. Light, sparkly crystals with deeply oxidised handforged sterling silver wires.

Light and Dark handmade earrings



All the pictures are found on Pinterest - click on the pic to go through to the pin, or relevant site.

Sunday 16 October 2011

Photography course

With photography being such a big issue when you're selling things online I thought it was about time I went on a course to learn a bit more about what I'm doing.

No one is going to buy some earrings that they can't see clearly, or that are blurred or under exposed. These photos are my only chance to show my customers the colour, texture, and beauty of the item. And luckily my friend Liz had signed up to Groupon and found a brilliant cheap deal; so that is how I spent my Saturday morning.

I had already figured out how to change the white balance, and I know a teeny bit about depth of field. But this course was brilliant. Yes, of course I've read the manuals, but it makes such a difference to have someone to explain it all, show examples, and importantly explain how the different aspects work together.

I had a few eureka moments in there. Hopefully I will remember some of it, and maybe it will start showing through in my photos, but we'll have to wait and see (and I'll let you be the judge of that)! And even if my shop pictures aren't any better - maybe it'll take me less time (and 50 less pictures) to get to those particular snaps!

So, what part of photography do you just not get?

Friday 14 October 2011

Folksy Friday - An apple a day.... be honest, we have inherited 3 apple trees in our new garden, so we're probably on more than just one apple a day at the moment. But I love eating fruit and veg from the garden, and can't seem to get enough - so I thought I'd share some Folksy appley goodness with all of you...

Go on, click through to the shops - they're good for you!

(You know the drill, click on the pic to go through to the shop, or hover to see who made what)

Lilysweets handmade treats Hoot ceramics Dollydoo Stevie B Hand over your fairy cakes Wooly Duck
1 - Lilysweets handmade treats 2 - Hoot ceramics 3 - Dollydoo 4 - Stevie B 5 - Hand over your fairy cakes 6 - Woolly Duck

Friday 30 September 2011

Tweet tweet

Do you tweet? Come find me on twitter @redbirdjewels (you can click here to follow me!/redbirdjewels)

or go find these beautiful folksy finds by clicking on the picks. All of them very, very tweet.

Click on the pics to find out the fab makers behind the birdies.....

Kukothebrave Audrey's Cat SHOP NAME 3 HB Ceramics Ruthie Craw Emma Daniels

Thursday 22 September 2011

A(nother) new beginning....

Every autumn I have a real sense of a new start. A fresh beginning. Probably more so in autumn than in spring to be honest.

Years of the back to school buzz have seeped into my subconscious, meaning that as soon as the leaves start to change and twirl to the ground, and once I have my pockets filled with conkers (by others you understand, not me) as we pass the horse chestnut tree on the way to school, I get a  sudden spurt of excitment and enthusiasm for the new things ahead.

This September has been extra exciting in our household...

... littlest has joined her sister at school! Eeeeeek!!! (sniff)

She's still there just for mornings, until tomorrow when she starts full days.

So far, she's loving it. I'm sure the adrenalin will wear off at some point and she'll be exhausted and grumpy but for now she is having the time of her life.

So, what am I going to do, home alone? I will dry my eyes and ha, yes you guessed it - I'm going to make jewellery. I'm still going to be childminding a couple of days a week, and we have just got planning permission for an extension to the house which'll eat up my time - but I'm so, so, so excited about having a bit of time to really get to grips with my jewellery business.

I've found in the past I've had lots of ideas, but at least two thirds never came to fruition due to a severe lack of hours in the day. That's all about to change!

We've also been getting some decorating done over the last few weeks, and jewellery making has been relegated from the spare room, to the garage (beats sleeping in the garage I suppose!). So that's all change too.  Yes, I can see it'll get a bit chilly in there as the weeks roll on, but at least I can hammer away to my hearts content without bothering anyone. And hopefully no one will complain when it's time to liver of sulphur the silver!!

I hope everyone else is enjoying their autumn. Whats new with you??

Saturday 27 August 2011

Inspiration - words #2

Have a look at this great flow chart....(you might need to click on it to enlarge)

If only it was that easy eh? I do like a flow chart.

Friday 26 August 2011

Morning light - Folksy Friday

Yesterday I put together a treasury on Etsy  called Morning Light,

So I thought it would be fun to see what kind of Folksy Friday I could put together on a similar theme...more of an autumn morning feel, but still a lovely collection. Take a peek at the shops by clicking on the pictures below.

Cassia Beck Silk for Sale
Abyjem Handcrafted Jewellery iLEAiYE
Birchcraft ceramics Oakwood Soaperie

Hope you like it!
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